At the office of Dr. Rothwell and Dr. Lenick, we can give you the option of a one-visit CEREC crown.
Ordinary crowns take two visits. For the first visit, the tooth is prepared by the dentist shaving from one to two millimeters from the sides and top of the tooth. Then an impression is taken of your teeth and sent to a laboratory. The laboratory creates a model of your tooth and the adjacent and opposing teeth and makes a crown that fits the tooth and fits into your bite. Meanwhile, you wear a temporary crown made with some type of plastic material. After a time period of from one to four weeks, you return to have the permanent crown placed.
The diagram below shows a ceramic dental crown, cut away so that you can see both the crown and the tooth. The ceramic covers the entire tooth, all the way around, and usually down to the gumline.
A CEREC crown looks the same and also covers the entire tooth. The difference is in how it is made. Instead of taking an impression of your tooth, Dr. Rothwell or Dr. Lenick will scan your tooth with a computer. The computer then mills a block of ceramic to fit your tooth and your bite precisely, the same that a laboratory technician would. Except that this is done in a matter of minutes, while you wait in the dental chair.
Advantages of this technology:
- CEREC crowns are made in one visit, saving both the dentist and the patient time.
- There is no need for a second novocain injection.
- With CEREC, there is no need for a temporary crown, which eliminates one of the potential discomforts for the patient and is a significant savings in money for the dentist. Temporary crowns can irritate the gums, the tongue, or the tooth. They can be uncomfortable to the bite for the patient. Also, they usually don’t look as nice as the permanent crown. And they can be a bother if they come off prematurely.
- CEREC crowns have no metal in them, and thus are fairly esthetic.
- CEREC material and technology can also be used for fillings. Since they are made out of porcelain, they are more durable than typical white composite fillings.
- The initial cost for CEREC technology is high. However, it can save money over the long run because there is no extra lab technician fee for the dentist, and because of the time savings.
- Since CEREC crowns are milled out of a single block of ceramic, it is difficult to incorporate into them the subtle color gradients of natural teeth. They look great on back teeth, but may not have the esthetic quality of laboratory-made crowns for front teeth.
- Using CEREC technology requires extra training on the part of the dentist.
Dr. Rothwell and Dr. Lenick have taken advanced training in CEREC crown technology.